Addressing the Labour Shortage

Over the past several months, businesses in all industries have tried to open to full capacity. Whether they are successful or not is largely dependent on supply of staff and not demand of patrons.

Experts have suggested it’s not an actual labor shortage, but people not wanting to work certain jobs. A lack of quality jobs, low pay, childcare costs, pandemic fears are some of the main factors influencing this. Many business are experiencing difficulty in recruiting new team members, with some employers introducing sign-on bonuses. If they don’t want to close shop, they must pivot to keep current staff without burning them out or causing them to leave.

What your customers don’t see

According to an analysis of OpenTable data from the UK, since the hospitality industry reopened in May of 2021, seated dining is up by an average of 150% from the same period in 2019. Areas that have not reintroduced restrictions, such as Manchester, is seeing patrons dining in restaurants 30% more than the rest of the globe.

The shortages that patrons see in the restaurant are small compared to what’s going on behind the scenes. With Brexit and pandemic restrictions, UK farmers and growers are short 40,000 seasonal workers, even after the government granted 30,000 visas to boost the labor force, according to the National Farmers’ Union.

Behind that there is a shortage of meat production due to shortages of processing staff and transport drivers.

While we see everything that is leading to slowed times in restaurants, stores and other hospitality areas, the reality is that the average patron does not. They see empty tables and long wait times, and it doesn’t add up. As a retailer, it’s important that you prioritize retaining your staff and putting them in front of customers as much as possible. And one of the tasks that takes them away from customers is cash management and cash-related stress.

Spend more time with your customers

First, look to automate the behind-the-scenes tasks that currently take your team members away from your customers, then reduce the time your managers need to complete tasks in their back office. Whether it is documenting, record keeping, reconciling cash drawers or preparing a deposit, a large portion of this time is typically spent on cash management. The good news is this can be changed, speedily and easily.

Automating a manual task like counting money means that labour hours spent on these tasks can be cut or, better yet, reallocated to customer service and revenue generating activities. Why not keep your people and help them make your sales grow?

Even restructuring tasks around the staff you have can pay off. In 2020, Tellermate was able to help L.L. Bean stores take a 3-person job at closing and make it to where it only took one person. This was with an investment of under £500 per store.

Improve efficiency so you can increase wages

The efficiency improvements that Tellermate solutions deliver are unquestionable. Our global client base, decades of doing business and countless client case studies are evidence of this. Using conventional logic, retailers use operational efficiencies as a means of reducing staffing costs, but progressive retailers such as Aldi use efficiency improvements in order to staff more. They need less staff to carry out tasks, but the staff they do have are paid above market rate. This gives them access to a wider talent pool, improves staff retention and provides better service to their customers.

Reduce the cash handling stress

Typically, when errors are found in the closeout process, they are investigated immediately. That can remove employees from the floor, pulling them away from customers and slowing the cash counting process for other lanes at the end of shifts. This can add tension between the team and store leadership, which can lead to poor performance or employees leaving the job. Taking measures to add accountability and accuracy in the cash counting process is a low-cost way to get ahead in this scenario.

While every business will need to investigate cash handling errors or cash losses at some point, having the right tools can help management and loss prevention take an approach based on fact-finding and not fault.

Effective cash handling and cash management processes can provide a supportive structure for staff, reduce the chances of errors, taking away opportunities for error and reducing pressure. And, most importantly, they can help retain the quality staff members a business needs in order to survive.

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